Landslide? The Popular Vote Total, in Historical Context

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Was it a landslide? Judge for yourself. Here are 60 years worth of popular vote totals, from most lopsided to least.

+23.2%, Nixon defeats McGovern, 1972
+22.6%, Johnson defeats Goldwater, 1964
+18.2%, Reagan defeats Mondale, 1984
+15.4%, Eisenhower defeats Stevenson, 1956
+10.9%, Eisenhower defeats Stevenson, 1952
+9.7%, Reagan defeats Carter, 1980
+8.5%, Clinton defeats Dole, 1996 (less than 50% to the winner)
+7.8%, Bush I defeats Dukakis, 1988
[+6%, Obama defeats McCain, 2008]
+5.3%, Clinton defeats Bush I, 1992 (less than 50% to the winner)
+4.5%, Truman defeats Dewey, 1948 (less than 50% to the winner)
+2.4%, Bush II defeats Kerry, 2004
+2.1%, Carter defeats Ford, 1976
+0.7%, Nixon defeats Humphrey, 1968 (less than 50% to the winner)
-0.5%, Bush II defeats Gore, 2000 (less than 50% to the “winner”)
+0.1%, Kennedy defeats Nixon, 1960 (less than 50% to the winner)

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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